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The forecast looks pretty good for this weekend, and we’re all gonna have a great time at our seventh annual Record Store Day block party! You can see a list of performers by clicking on “Events” above.

This week we have unpacked about a million boxes because the Record Store Day releases have begun to arrive. There’s a really remarkable variety this year, and its been fun to look at each as we unpack them. So far one of our favorites is a reissue of Mstislav Rostropovich’s recording of the second Shostakovich cello concerto, because its designed after the Soviet-era underground tradition of pressing bootleg records on old X-rays.

You can see the whole list of special, limited edition releases here. If there’s one you’re especially excited about, you can give us a call or send an email and we’ll be glad to let you know if we will have it in stock. The last of them should be arriving tomorrow afternoon.

On the local front we’re excited about the first ever vinyl pressing of the Marcy Playground album. Also, as a non-official Record Store Day release, Big Quarters are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their first album, The Cost of Living, with a double LP release. The Current did a great story on the release last week (here). Ever since Medium Zach brought some copies into the shop, it’s taken up a residency on our turntable!


But we’ll see you soon! Today we’re gonna visit family (and also go into the shop and make some repairs).



Jonathan Walters created this animated video for “Positive QI” from Dingus’ album, Who Cares?. They’ll be playing the last set inside the record shop at our block party next Saturday for Record Store Day. It will be the¬†second performance here in the record shop by this trio, who are our favorite pop punk band in town.

The whole list of performers on the two stages for our block party is here. If you’re interested in the list of special Record Store Day releases you can find it here, and we should know early next week which of the releases we’re sure to have in stock so feel welcome to call or email with questions.

You can hear the whole album on their Bandcamp page here. The LP comes in a sharp-looking screen printed jacket!

Every year as we prepare for our block party on Record Store Day, we clear out all our storage spaces to put out thousands of records for free on 39th Avenue. Dozens of boxes of LPs, 45s and some 78s (they get messy and easily broken with such a big crowd). By the middle of the day the thousands of records are gone!

Sometimes they’re albums in poor shape (and we’re pretty conservative about what’s good enough to go into the shop) and other times they’re records which are simply ones we see so often and don’t need any more copies of them (think Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass). Yes, there’s a lot of junk in those boxes, but there’s also some finds for the diggers. After all, we can only check over the boxes so carefully, and besides, leaving a few gems in there makes if more fun all around.

Another interesting feature is that in past years some artists who have surpluses of their albums stored in their practice spaces have given us a couple dozen to mix in to the free records. So sometimes the free boxes contain brand new albums!

This year we’re going to try to get the free records out a little earlier than the start of the live music on the stage outside, which Charlie Parr will be kicking off promptly at 11am. We can’t really guarantee the time because the setup for the stage and sound gear will take priority over the boxes of free records — but we do certainly have more boxes than ever before this year!

The goal of course, is to try and reduce the waste. Hopefully the records will find their way into collections and onto turntables, or maybe just as material for artists which is often the fate for old records nobody wants to play anymore. One thing we have always appreciated about our block party is that people don’t leave a mess on 39th Avenue or in the surrounding neighborhood for the residents there — we especially appreciate this because its the neighborhood where we live, too.

Anyways, here’s your first ‘heads up’ about the free records, which this year should be more plentiful and interesting than ever before. We’ll try and post some pictures of them as soon as we can start organizing them into boxes.

Here’s a fun bonus to today’s post: Last year our “Official Hymies Records photographer” Craig Willford was invited to climb onto the roof of the Frattallone’s Ace Hardware across the street to get some shots of the block party. This year we’re working on a plan to get him onto the roof of our building too!


Don’t worry dear reader, we make sure he’s safe!


One of the groups performing at our block party for the first time is already familiar to everyone here at the record store.¬†The Blind Shake, who debuted a new drummer here at Hymie’s this last November (there’s video by Tony Nelson courtest of Rift Magazine here), also chose our shop to feature their “Live at Third Man Records” release last months. We’ve always told folks the Blind Shake is the best live band in the Twin Cities, so we’ve invited them to perform at the block party for several years. Unfortunately, scheduling conflicts always came up, until finally this year!

blind-shake-celebrateAs always, they’ve been the busiest band in the Twin Cities, with the two original members released solo records earlier this year, which we featured in February here and here. One of these solo projects has spun off into a full band of its own, Blaha, which just returned from a European tour.

We think that last year’s Blind Shake album, Celebrate Your Worth, was their best yet, and that it was the best local record of 2016.

The complete list of performers at our seventh annual block party for Record Store Day is here.

So we had planned to post some music featuring a few of the performers for our seventh annual block party, but the weather this weekend kept us outside in the garden and away from the record shelves.

And tonight’s show at the Cedar crept up on us — it’s a tribute to Spider John Koerner,a local musician who you’ve either never heard of or have met several times. And if you’ve heard John perform and listened to one of his albums, you’re likely a fan. Looks like the show tonight is sold out, which isn’t a surprise since its scheduled to include some pretty awesome guests, including our friends Charlie Parr and Jack Klatt. Maybe you could hang around the door and they’d let you in — we’ve always thought they could squeeze a few more folks into shows there, but it’s really up to the good folks who work at the Cedar.

We have been quoted in the past as choosing John’s album with Willie Murphy, Running Jumping Standing Still, as our favorite record of all time. And it still is.

Here is “Bayou Lebatre,” the first song from Sabyre Rae’s EP Revel. Ms. Rae will be performing on the stage inside the record shop at our block party on April 22nd, along with Mike Munson, Ben Weaver and Dingus. We’ve posted set times for this stage and also the stage outside here. She first performed here several years ago as a member of Jack Klatt’s backing group, and played with him on his Mississippi Roll album.

Revel is her debut recording and you can hear another song from it on her Bandcamp page. We think her combination of country blues and swamp rock is a particularly unique sound, and we’re looking forward to hearing more recordings from her.

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